Audi to pump up U.S. supply of Q5s
ORLANDO -- Audi of America's supply of Q5 crossovers will grow by about 8,000 in 2013, Audi executives told dealers during their make meeting.
The move should ease shortages that frustrated dealers and customers last year.
It also would lift the Q5 close to becoming the German brand's U.S. best seller. Audi sold 28,671 of the two-row crossover in 2012. That trailed only the A4 sedan and its wagon cousin, the allroad, which had a combined 38,530 in sales.
"We're definitely bringing more," Audi of America President Scott Keogh told Automotive News. He would not confirm the 8,000 figure, which was provided by multiple dealers.
Shifting more Q5 allocation to the United States will help Audi toward the 2013 sales target of 150,000 vehicles that executives announced during the meeting. Keogh would not confirm that figure, either, but it would be an increase of 8 percent over 2012.
Rich Morrison, an Audi dealer from Anchorage, Alaska, who also sells Volkswagen, Porsche and Infiniti vehicles, said executives also seemed more sensitive to dealers' complaints about design specifications than in the past.
"I'm a tiny dealer way up north, so I was scared to death when they came up to look at my building," said Morrison, who is trying to renovate an old Saturn dealership into a store that meets Audi's current design standard, known as Terminal.
Morrison said executives have been flexible with him. He added that Audi scaled back its demands again at the meeting, by indicating that dealers with the previous store design, known as Hangar, may stick with their current exterior if they adopt the Terminal interior design standards.
Audi of America COO Mark Del Rosso confirmed that dealers with the Hangar design will have such an option.
"They weren't as hard on some of the building requirements as I thought they were going to be," said Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group, which sells Audi, Mazda and Subaru vehicles in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
Executives also told dealers they intend to revisit Audi's furniture specifications. Dealers said customers have complained that much of the furniture is uncomfortable.
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